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INDUSTRY UPDATES
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Joe Tatulli

Burlington Futon Takes The Piping Plunge

Burlington Futon Company now offers piping on futon covers, duvets and accessory pillows. Piping is available in the same fabric or a contrasting fabric by special order, and will be on display in San Francisco at the company’s booth in the Concourse Exhibition Center.
Burlington Futon Company selected a medium size cording to create a futon cover with a distinctive appearance. It is just the right size to make a statement but not too small that the detailing is lost.
A new collection of fabrics will be introduced in San Francisco too. “Burlington is committed to offering the latest in home fashions,” said Mark Binkhorst, the company president.
The company will also have a large selection of U-Select fabric covers on hand. These fabrics are promotionally priced for an in-stock futon cover program.
 

New Futon Pillow Packs From Cotton Works Coming In Mid-January

Cotton Works Industries is introducing a fashionable double-header, two 17-inch pillows and one matching full-size futon cover available in twelve continuous patterns.
The futon pillow packs, which will be available in mid-January, cost just $29 per set.
“Our futon pillow packs will be part of the quick-ship program Cotton Works is known for,” said President Jim Martin. “We ship out your order in three days. Reordering is simple, too. You’ll know what you’re getting and when you’re getting it.”
The matching futon pillow sets are the latest in a series of new lines and fabrics from Cotton Works. “The most recent edition of 35 new futon-covers has been well-received,” said Martin.
Cotton Works produces a full range of futon covers and accessories, including tapestries, leather covers and slipcovers.

Zad Showing 80 New Fabric Swatches At San Fran Market

“Zad Home” with eighty custom swatch fabrics with their signature “west-coast look”, has been very well received among retailers who are looking for swatches that are unique and distinctive. Zad Design & MFG. offers carefully chosen, rich fabrics that can be used as futon-covers but also as bedding accessories as well. “We are trying to offer different looks a more relaxed and luxurious west-coast look, and we hope store owners can use these swatches to sell more than just a fine futon cover,” said Heewon Hoh, soft goods coordinator of Zad Designs & MFG. “We offer complete bedding accessories made with these fabrics available as swatches,” said Hoh. “An interested retailer can request small swatch samples for their review,” she said.
Also, Zad Design & MFG. has added another automated machine for its woodworking facility to accommodate the changing needs of the retail market. Mr. Azad, CEO of Zad Designs believes this automated unit will give more flexibility to the company’s just-in-time product delivery system, as well as add to the design creativity his company provides for the futon market. Zad designs will ship as little as two futon frames for each design they offer. The company will also work with custom designs that evolve from what the retailer has in mind.

Adonis Furniture Building Sales Team

Oakland, CA — Adonis Furniture, a fast-growing futon frame and platform bed wholesaler, has hired two long-time industry veterans to represent them.
Bruce Glassman will cover accounts in northern California, Hawaii, and Alaska. He brings fourteen years of futon and furniture experience to the company. Also, he is the national sales manager for Cannon Sleep Products, a leading manufacturer of both futon pads and conventional mattresses.
Jim Murphy will cover accounts in eleven western states. He has been in the futon wholesale business for 13 years.
David Lee, Adonis Furniture’s national sales manager said, “I’ve known Bruce and Jim for years and am really happy that they have joined me here at Adonis. It speaks volumes as to their belief in the direction of this company and the quality of its products. I will be on the lookout for the other outstanding individuals to represent us throughout the country.”
David Wehrmeister will be handling inside sales support and customer service. He was a professional baseball player for 15 years. Drafted in the first round, he played for various major and AAA teams, including the White Sox, Phillies, Yankees, and Padres. He has over 10 years experience in wholesale distribution and retail sales.

 

Consumers Benefit From New August Lotz Technology

For years the futon mattress segment of our business has had to live with the dilemma of how to make and fold a comfortable mattress. Our industry has evolved from cotton futons to cotton and foam to innerspring to today’s high tech, high density foam. As the support, durability, and comfort levels have increased, the ability to easily convert from sleeping to sitting position has decreased. “We thought it was a shame that the only choice that our industry could give consumers was, do you want a comfortable one or one that works easily,” says Mark Schlichter, President, August Lotz. “I’m being somewhat simplistic, but up until now, end users had to trade comfort for functionality and vice versa. I felt the industry had to solve that problem if we wanted to push the value of our products to a higher level.”
August Lotz has solved that problem. Through extensive research they have developed a new hinging technique. This process, that they have patented, combines a section of pliable, state of the art foam with other high density foams. It allows mattresses of any thickness to fold and unfold easily.
“We feel that this gives us a leg up on the competition,” states Schlichter. “Over the past couple of years, we have seen high density, combination foam futon mattresses eat into the innerspring business. I feel that they are the wave of the future, and now, with our new technology, they are even better than the innerspring.”
“I think this upper end market has huge potential. How many times have you heard someone say, whatever you do, get a good futon mattress? It’s conventional wisdom in our country. Now futon consumers can get a comfortable mattress that will work well on all  futon frames.”
August Lotz has introduced three new models, the Utopia, the Orthopedic Gold, and the Eternity, that feature this new process. The Eternity carries a Lifetime Warranty.
 

Bluestone Mills Adds Mill Creek Line

The Pennsylvania Amish producer of futon frames — Home Office — and occasional tables has added the Mill Creek Sleigh to their futon frame line. Available in two finishes: Chardonay (medium oak), and Cognac (cherry walnut), the Mill Creek line also has matching home office units (including desks, file cabinets, and a hutch/secretary), occasional tables, pedestal tables and a liquor bar to make a complete collection. “Our re-orders on placements have been fantastic. The dealers need to have new looks and more to offer their buyers and we have what they have been looking for,” says Robert Thomas national sales manager.

 

Nikea Adds Two New Warehouse Stocking Facilities

Nikea has just completed construction of two additional warehouses in order to stock product inventory. Nikea built the facilities to keep up with the rapidly increasing demand for its product line. “This is in line with our total commitment to customer support,” said Nikita Grigoriev, founder of Nikea. “In addition to our unconditional free part replacement warranty, we are striving toward a very quick turnaround time, which is key to success in today’s market.” Nikea manufacturers its own unique line of unfinished futon frames made out of spruce and accessories.

 

Verlo Mattress Will Mark New Year with New Name

Verlo Mattress Company Inc., will change its name to VyMaC Corporation effective January 1, 2000, according to Dave Young, Vice President. The name change represents a need to differentiate the Verlo Mattress Company Inc., corporate identity from the Verlo Mattress Factory Stores retail operation, and also to allow for other growth opportunities.
“As our company continues to grow it is vital that the parent company, Verlo Mattress Company, be able to stand on its own without being confused with the Verlo Mattress Factory Stores brand,” Young explained. “The blending of Verlo into both packages caused confusion in some arenas. The new corporate identity will address this problem and allow the VMFS brand name to dominate as a retail entity.”
By December 31, 1999, Verlo Mattress Company Inc., will legally be VyMaC Corporation. VyMaC will be the parent company for Verlo Mattress Factory Stores, Advertising Services Group, the National Outcycle® Environmental Program, and any future similar endeavors.
“This is an exciting time for the VyMaC Corporation and Verlo Mattress Factory Stores,” Young added. “We are poised for growth in the new century, and we are taking on the industry in a whole new way. Our new name signifies this time of change and the positive effects it will have on the entire organization.”
VyMaC Corporation, the name, incorporates the VMC initials as a way of commemorating the Verlo Mattress Company heritage. Official corporate correspondence, such as letterhead, business cards, and written documentation, will carry the VyMaC Corporation name as of January 1.

Stringent Federal Bunk Bed Safety Standards Issued. Harlee's Aspen Meets New Requirements Now

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety commission voted on December 2, 1999 to issue mandatory federal safety standards for bunk beds manufactured or imported for sale into the United States starting in July of 2000.
“Based on the information published by the CPSC, on December 2, 1999, the new standards are more stringent than the current voluntary ASTM safety standards,” said Steve Leichter, president of Corona, California based Harlee International.
Non-compliance to the voluntary safety standards has long been a problem and children have been injured and killed on non-conforming bunk beds. “Because Harlee’s Aspen, twin over full futon bunk bed was going to be used by children,” said Leichter, “we took considerable care and effort to specially design and build a product that we felt was safe, functional and stylish. While the Aspen has always been third party certified to meet the voluntary ASTM standards, the extra effort has been worthwhile as the all hardwood Aspen bunk beds meet today’s stringent new mandated safety standards to become effective in July of 2000.”
 

FAI Board Implements Member Recruitment Tel-e-thon

Patti MacMillen had the idea and drive to make it happen. Tom Tedesco had the place and the phone lines to set it up. So with these two key ingredients in place the first ever FAI Board promoted membership tel-e-thon took place during a recent meeting of the FAI Board in Orlando.
“Talking to members of our industry that are not currently FAI members gave us the opportunity to explain the importance of our Association to their businesses. In addition to all the new member benefits, the Association is an important information conduit to the futon industry for governmental and safety related matters that concern each of us. Not being up to date with all the new safety related regulations can be very expensive,” said Steve Leichter.
“The Tel-e-thon was a prime example of the Board and Staff of the industry's trade association pulling together to improve our outreach and gain members for FAI. The more members we have, the better we represent our entire industry, and the more clout we have when we have to deal with various agencies on behalf of our industry,” said Tim Jacobs, Association Administrative Director.
The effort raised awareness of the value of the Association, and about $2500 in new funds for the groups ongoing efforts.

FL

Winter 1999-2000
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